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Artists refusing to make gay wedding invitations win US legal battle

Sep 17 2019

Artists refusing to make gay wedding invitations win US legal battleTwo Arizona artists who refused to create invitations to same-sex weddings due to their Christian beliefs were within their legal rights, the US state's top court ruled Monday. The state Supreme Court's decision invalidates previous judgments against the two women for violating a "human relations ordinance" introduced by the southwestern city of Phoenix to safeguard LGBTQ rights. According to their lawyers, the two artists could have faced up to six months in prison and a $2,500 fine each time they refused to make invitations to gay weddings.

'Evil needs to pay': Missing Florida mom Casei Jones and her four children all found dead in Georgia

Sep 17 2019

'Evil needs to pay': Missing Florida mom Casei Jones and her four children all found dead in GeorgiaCasei Jones, 32, and her four children, were found dead in Georgia and a warrant has been issued for Casei Jones' husband, Michael Wayne Jones Jr.

At rally, Warren decries Trump as 'corruption in the flesh'

Sep 17 2019

At rally, Warren decries Trump as 'corruption in the flesh'Facing thousands of cheering supporters in the nation's largest city, Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren on Monday decried President Donald Trump as "corruption in the flesh" and outlined her plans to root out corruption in the White House, Congress and courts. "Corruption has put our planet at risk. Corruption has broken our economy.

90% of the world's population just experienced the hottest summer on record

Sep 16 2019

90% of the world's population just experienced the hottest summer on recordThe Northern Hemisphere, which holds 90% of the world's population, just experienced its hottest meteorological summer on record, tied with 2016, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Monday.For the year-to-date, 2019 is the third-warmest year on record after 2016 and 2017.According to NOAA, nine of the 10 highest June-through-August global land and ocean surface temperatures have occurred since 2009.> The Northern hemisphere had the hottest summer (June to August) on record. It was 2nd hottest at global level. The last five June-August periods are the five hottest on record, per @NOAANCEIclimate ClimateAction> > -- WMO | OMM (@WMO) September 16, 2019It was the second-hottest summer at a global level, according to NOAA, along with the second-hottest August on record for the planet.There have been around 40 child hot car deaths this summer, but that number is still behind last year for the summer. There was roughly 31 from June to August in 2018 and around 29 from June to August in 2019. A bird sits on a straw bale on a field in Frankfurt, Germany, as the sun rises during an ongoing heatwave in Europe on July 25, 2019, (AP Photo/Michael Probst, FILE) South America, Africa, Europe, the Gulf of Mexico and the Hawaiian region had a temperature departure from average for the summer months that ranked among the three warmest such periods on record. Africa, for example, had its warmest June-through-August period on record, according to NOAA's report.Europe was baked by multiple scorching heat waves throughout the summer that spread record high temperatures across the continent, making Paris surpass its hottest temperature ever recorded. Germany and France had their third-warmest summers on record, while Austria had its second-warmest summer.In July, France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and the United Kingdom all set new all-time high temperature records."Paris had at least 14 days this summer with temperatures above the 90s. Their highest 'normal' high all summer was 77 degrees," AccuWeather Meteorologist John Gresiak said. An annotated map of the world showing notable climate events that occurred around the world in August 2019. (NOAA) Alaska is one area that has suffered the most from the heat. Eight of Alaska's top 13 warmest days on record were in 2019."The Anchorage airport reached 90 degrees for the first time in that weather station's history on July 4. Anchorage also topped 80 degrees eight times this year, the most ever since record keeping of the weather began there in 1917," Sojda said.According to Sojda, Anchorage also had a problem with smoke this summer from huge wildfires that burned near the area. Alaska's fire season typically ends by Aug. 1, but the Swan Lake Fire has not been contained yet."Over 2.5 million acres have burned in Alaska this year. While that's still nowhere near the record of over 6.5 million acres from 2004, it's still considered a 'major fire year' which is a year when over a million acres is burned," Sojda said."The last major fire year was 2013 when 1.3 million acres burned. You have to go back to 2009 to find more acres burned than this year, when 2.9 million acres were burned," Sojda said.

London Zoo discovers largest amphibian in the world, which they unknowingly exhibited for 20 years

Sep 16 2019

London Zoo discovers largest amphibian in the world, which they unknowingly exhibited for 20 yearsA salamander that lived at London Zoo for 20 years has turned out to be a new species which could be the largest amphibian in the world. The animal, which was kept at the zoo in the Twenties and later preserved at the Natural History Museum, was thought to be a Chinese giant salamander, but tests from 17 specimens held at the museum showed it was completely a new species that was actually bigger than its cousin. The amphibian, which has been called the South China giant salamander, was held by the museum for 74 years and is presumed to still live in the wild. When it lived at London Zoo, scientists in the 1920s had abandoned proposals that it could be a new species. The same salamander has now been used to define the characteristics of the new species. A new species of giant salamander - possibly the largest amphibian in the world - has been identified from a dead specimen that has been on display at the Natural History Museum for 74 years. Credit: SWNS/ZSL  The South China giant salamander can reach nearly two metres and is the largest of the 8,000 amphibian species alive today, scientists from ZSL and London’s Natural History Museum said. Analysing tissue samples from wild salamanders and the DNA specimens scientists revealed three genetic lineages. These were from different river systems and mountain ranges across China and could have diverged more than three million years ago. Professor Samuel Turvey, of the ZSL and lead author of the study published today in Ecology and Evolution journal said: “The decline in wild Chinese giant salamander numbers has been catastrophic, mainly due to recent overexploitation for food. “We hope that this new understanding of their species diversity has arrived in time to support their successful conservation.”